Kennedy sat back and chatted with the Connallys.
"Well," said Mrs. Connally, "you can't say Dallas isn't friendly today."
Kenny O'Donnell was riding in a car right behind the President when the assassin's bullets struck.
"I saw the third shot hit. It was such a perfect shot-I remember I blessed myself."
"We were in this car and heard these bullets-we heard three shots as clearly as you talk to me..... No questions about how many times they fired on him," said [General Godfrey] McHugh. "As we rode, bullets came over our head, one after the other, and I thought, 'My God, they're giving him a 21-gun salute!' Then he suddenly knew. 'Oh, my God, no. That's rifle bullets!' And we looked up, and saw the President, slumped."
Jean Hill was near the car, waving at the President, when she saw him grab his throat, and suddenly the blood and brains seemed to make a red cloud around his head, and the blood splattered her boyfriend, a motorcycle cop. "It was just horrible," she said. "I just saw this look in his eyes and then his head was gone."
The President's Secret Service driver raced toward Parkland Memorial Hospital, several miles away. The other agent urged him to slow down. "If he's not dead, we don't want to kill him now." In the backseat, an agent stood and pounded his fists against the back of the care in anger and frustration.
The President already was dying.
One bullet hit him at the base of the neck, a little to the right of the spine. Another hit Governor Connally in the back. He and his wife were seated in the front of the Kennedys. A third bullet entered the right rear of the President's head, splattering the brain tissue. The President fell onto his wife.
Ralph G. Martin, Seeds of Destruction, Joe Kennedy and His Sons (New York: G. P. Putnam's Son's, 1995), pp. 453-454
There you have it, all nice and neat. Three shots hitting Kennedy, Connally, and Kennedy again in that order, all coming from the rear and, most likely, all from Lee Harvey Oswald's Mannlicher Carcano positioned at a corner window on the sixth floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository where he worked. So why are so many people unable to accept the official explanation?
"It is hard for many to swallow the notion that a misguided loser with a $12 rifle could end Camelot," Martin quotes Gerald Posner.
But what Martin has given us is not the official explanation. He has quite obviously intentionally ignored important evidence in order to make the story sound more plausible. Surely he has heard of the so-called magic bullet, the one that was supposed to have entered Kennedy's upper back, exited through his throat, and then proceeded on a right-to-left downward path through John Connally, shattering a rib, collapsing a lung, hitting bone as it went through his right wrist and lodging in his left thigh, only to fall out on a stretcher later at Parkland Hospital. What was that all about?
That was what Warren Commissioner staffer, Arlen Specter, came up with because, without it, four shots had to have been fired, and there wasn't time for one man with a bolt-action rifle to have fired four shots. You see, Martin has found it convenient to ignore the bullet that missed and ricocheted off a curb quite some distance in front of Kennedy's car. Posner says it was the first one fired, that Oswald had passed up the shot offered by the oncoming convertible with Kennedy square in front of him and waited to squeeze off his precious first shot when the limbs of a tree were in his way and the target was moving away to his right. The shot, according to Posner, glanced severely off one of the larger limbs, which explains why it missed so badly.
Martin has shown himself to be familiar, at least, with Posner's work so he knows the contortions one has to go through to make the known evidence fit the one-gunman theory. Instead of sticking with the evidence, he hopes we won't notice and tailors the evidence to fit the tale he is telling.
What I would have found hard to swallow up until a few years ago is that there are so many people around in America's opinion-molding professions who are so ready and willing to lie when it suits them and to freely participate in the cover-up of a murder of transcendent national and world importance.
For the cover-up to succeed would require too many Ralph G. Martins, I hear the familiar refrain. Alas, there are more than enough of his breed, willing to do whatever it takes to further their own "success," and the success of outrage upon outrage is the byproduct.
January 22, 2001
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